Fishing for Angling & Sporting Books with Americana

The Natural Trout Fly

The Natural Trout Fly

On Thursday, October 19th, PBA Galleries is privileged to host Part II of The Richard Beagle Collection of Angling & Sporting Books with Americana, Travel & Exploration, and Cartography. On offer, will be over 400 lots of rare and significant books, manuscripts, maps, and related material, including items from the premier angling and sporting library formed by Richard Beagle. Key to the collection are fine limited editions with mounted specimens of tied flies; first editions of important accounts of angling in Britain and America; presentation copies of fishing books by Zane Gray; uncommon narratives of bird shooting and big game hunting; and other rarities. Accompanying the angling and sporting books is an array of interesting and unusual materials on the Americas and the world at large, with manuscripts of African American import, documents from old Mexico, scarce California ephemera, Hawaiiana, travels to the far reaches of the globe, and more.

A highlight of the sale is a deluxe issue of the first edition of Leonard West’s The Natural Trout Fly and Its Imitation published in 1912. Illustrated with 13 color plates of flies, the book also contains a total of 108 specimen flies mounted on five thick leaves. Bound in full green morocco with double gilt-rule borders, lettered in gilt and all edges gilt, it is one of only a few deluxe copies of an unknown total but speculated at no more than 30 given the scarcity of copies appearing at auction (Estimate: $7,000-$10,000).

Upland Game Shooting

Upland Game Shooting

Another angling highlight is F. M. Halford’s Dry Fly Entomology: A Brief Description of Leading Types of Natural Insects Serving as Food for Trout and Grayling with the 100 Best Patterns of Floating Flies and the Carious Methods of Dressing Them, in two volumes published in 1897. One of only 100 copies of the Edition De Luxe, the second volume contains 100 actual specimens of tied flies (Estimate: $7,000-$10,000).
Other featured lots in the angling section of the sale include a special presentation copy of Zane Grey’s Tales of Southern Rivers inscribed by Grey to his son Loren (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000) and the miniature Book of Small Flies by Rene Harrop and others, one of 60 copies with eight tiny tied flies in a special wooden case (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000).

A scarce deluxe issue of H. L. Betten’s Upland Game Shooting is a highlight of the sporting lots in the sale. Signed by the author on the limitation page and illustrated from paintings and drawings by Lynn Bogue Hunt with ten tipped-in color plates, this is one of the most desirable of 10th century sporting books (Estimate $2,000-$3,000).

San Bruno wall map

San Bruno wall map

Featured lots in the Americana section of the sale include: a rare wall map of San Bruno, California from 1915, issued just one year after the city south of San Francisco was incorporated (Estimate: $3,000- $5,000); John Muir’s The Mountains of California, first edition, signed by the author and with a letter from him to close friend Charles Keeler tipped in (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); Samuel Johnson’s Taxation No Tyranny!, 1775, in which the great English lexicographer argues the Crown has the right to tax the unruly American colonies (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); and two mammoth plate albumen photographs c.1865-66, by Carleton E. Watkins of Tacoye, the Half Dome, 5500 feet, Yosemite, a striking view with the Merced River in the foreground and Section of the Grizzly Giant with Galen Clark, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000 each).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction on Monday, October 16th, 1 – 5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 17th and 18th, from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, October 19th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

Nearly Complete Collection of BCC Publications Offered Sept. 7th

Cowan's California BIbliography BCC 1

Cowan’s California BIbliography BCC 1

The Fred Bennett Collection of the Book Club of California if featured in PBA Galleries’ Rare Books and Manuscripts sale on September 7th. The collection includes virtually all of the Club’s publications, with many special copies, from copy no. 1 of the very first book, specially bound, onward. Many of the leaf books have additional leaves, and a number of the books are signed by the printers or others involved in their production. Also in the sale are 150 lots of rare, valuable, and significant material in many subject areas, from early folio printings of Shakespeare plays and books of the Bible to fine printings from the Doves and Kelmscott Presses, with important medical and scientific works, breakthroughs in Egyptology, uncommon art and photography books, and more.

The first publication of the Book Club of California is the highlight of the Fred Bennett Collection. Robert Cowan’s landmark Bibliography of the History of California, published in 1914, is specially bound in three quarter pig skin and tan cloth, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, rust colored patina endpapers; housed in Niger leather and cloth clamshell box lined with patina paper, raised spine bands, spine stamped in gilt. This is copy number 1 of a total first edition of 250 printed by Taylor, Nash & Taylor and is truly a unique copy of this important work. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000

Plato’s Republic, is the Greek philosopher’s most enduring work. This copy, a large paper edition published in Glasgow in 1763, is the very rare first edition in English. OCLC lists only four copies with only two found in the United States. It is bound in period calf, rebacked with later calf, raised spine bands, morocco lettering piece. Estimate: $12,000-$18,000.

Doves Press Bible

Doves Press Bible

Other fine press offerings include the beautiful Doves Press English Bible in five volumes. One of the legendary fine printings of the Bible and the Masterpiece of the press, this is one of 500 copies in full limp vellum bindings. The crown jewel of Doves’ achievements remains this edition of the King James Bible, with the iconic initial letter “I” from “In the Beginning” gently cascading down the page, alongside the elegant block of text. Estimate: $7,000-$10,000. Printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, The Well at the World’s End from an edition of 350 copies has wood-engraved illustrations by W. S. Hooper after Edward Burne-Jones. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000

Two seminal works will also be offered in the sale. Jean-François Champollion’s Lettre à M. Dacier. 1822, the first edition of his account of his method for assigning phonetic values to Egyptian hieroglyphs, based on a study of the Rosetta Stone, a key work in Egyptology (Estimate: $30,000-$50,000) and six early and seminal papers on DNA, in four issues of Nature, including the first two papers by James Watson and Francis Crick, and the first depictions of the DNA molecule (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000).

The sale also features two autograph letters signed by Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, to “Cousin William,” writing in 1897 about the publication of her autobiography (Estimate: $7,000-$10,000); a late 18th century Persian manuscript of popular tales and narratives, with 14 exquisite half-page miniature paintings (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000); and two complete plays from the second folio edition of Shakespeare’s works, 1632, being the tragedies of Troylus and Cressida, and of Cariolinus, bound together in modern half morocco (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000)

Kelmscott's The Well at the World's End

Kelmscott’s The Well at the World’s End

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Tuesday and Wednesday, September 5th and 6th, from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, September 7th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

Fine Books in All Fields or Something for Everyone

Jimi Hendrix Experience Rock Poster

Jimi Hendrix Experience Rock Poster

The PBA Galleries August 31st Fine Books in All Fields auction will feature over 450 lots of interesting, unusual and valuable material in a broad range of subject areas, from early printed books and finely bound sets to scarce items from Japan and China. Included are books, manuscripts, rare ephemera, photographs, colored botanical plates, original comic and illustration art, vintage rock posters, and much more.

A rare Jimi Hendrix Experience rock poster from early 1968 is a highlight of the sale. One of the most desirable posters of the genre, it features the iconic “Flying Eyeball” design of Rick Griffin, influenced by the 1950’s auto detailing art of Von Dutch, and advertised the February 1st and 4th concerts at the Fillmore and the February 2nd and 3rd concerts at Winterland which also saw John Mayall and the Blues Breakers and Albert King performing. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000.

Sculthorpe's Caricatures

Sculthorpe’s Caricatures

A unique collection of 61 original watercolor caricature drawings by W.R. Sculthorpe, humorously depict various aspects of English life and society in the latter half of the 19th century. Executed in the 1860s, some are redrawings of earlier works dating as early as the 1830s. Five illustrations lacking from the original album were sold at a 1998 auction at Christie’s. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000.

Appian's Roman History

Appian’s Roman History

The editio princeps of Appian of Alexandria’s Romanarum Historiarum, the history of the wars of the ancient Roman Empire dates from 1551. This work is often cited as the supreme example of the use of the Royal Greek Types. The title page in is Greek and Latin, with the remaining text in Greek. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000.

An exceptional commercially produced photograph album of China in the 1920’s has some 165 original photographs, with printed descriptive text in Chinese. The superb selection of views presents the country from Shanghai to Manchuria, the China Sea to the western deserts. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500

The scarce first American edition of Mary Shelley’s Lodore, her largely autobiographical novel of 1835, focuses on political and ideological issues, particularly the education and social role of women. This copy is bound with Frederick Marryat’s The Naval Officer, apparently as issued. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500.

Rackham Illustrated A Christmas Carol

Rackham Illustrated A Christmas Carol

Other lots featured in the sale include: the scarce Arthur Rackham illustrated A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in the original full vellum (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500); a rare true first edition of Beatrix Pottter’s Peter Rabbit (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); the complete play, The Merry Wives of Windsor, from the second folio edition of Shakespeare’s works from 1632 (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000); and Bengal Story: Tales from Orissa, Bengal & Sikkim, a striking artist’s book by Susan Allix with five etchings and five linocuts, one of 10 special copies on hand-made paper (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, August 28th, 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29th and 30th, from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, August 31st, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

Miniature Books from a Gentleman Collector

Opera Omnia

Opera Omnia

On Thursday, August 24th, PBA Galleries will offer more than 300 lots of fine miniature books from the library of an East Coast gentleman. Included are many fine individual volumes along with complete or nearly complete collections from some of the best known modern publishers of miniature books. A selection of antiquarian miniatures is included as well. Among the rarities are nine different versions of the Rosemary Press printings of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, many of which have never appeared at auction before; the 1828 Opera of Horace in microscopic 2.5-point type; a complete gathering of the REM Miniatures Dard Hunter books, a collection of 10 fine miniature artist’s books by Soraya Marcano, most issued in editions of less than 10 copies and rarely encountered; along with many, many other desirable volumes. Other highlights of the sale include substantial collections from the Black Cat Press, the Hillside Press, the Press of Ward Schori, REM Miniatures, Achille J. St. Onge, and collections of many other miniature publishers. Many former holders of the record for the smallest printed book in the world are also represented along with a significant number of micro-miniatures, perfectly sized for the doll’s house library.

A miniature typographical wonder, the 1828 edition of the Opera Omnia of Horace, printed in Henri Didot’s microscopic 2.5-point type is considered by Spielmann “One of the typographical wonders and an unsurpassed feat as far as minuteness and beauty of type is concerned.” It is superbly bound by C. Hardy in full red morocco, elaborately stamped in gilt on spine and covers, gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500

Rosemary Press Rubaiyat for Chile Club

Rosemary Press Rubaiyat for Chile Club

The rare Rosemary Press edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, was printed for the members of the Chile Club. Amongst the rarest of the many miniature Rubaiyats, it is one of nine different printings by the Rosemary press for various clubs and organizations offered in this auction, all are rare. It is housed in a custom book-shape box of full blue morocco and bound in a Chilean flag design. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

Fine facsimile edition of the Carmina Sapphica by Horace originally printed at the Ashendene Press in 1923 for the Library at Queen Mary’s Doll House is also featured. One of the rarest and most desirable of miniature books published by Anne & David Bromer housed in a custom-made folding half morocco case. Several other of the Bromer miniatures are also included in this sale. Estimate: $600-$900

Rare California Miniature

Rare California Miniature

An Invitation to the Private Presses of Stanford and Palo Alto is a very rare California miniature. It is copy number 1 of only 9 copies printed and only one other copy located per OCLC/WorldCat. This copy is accompanied by an unfolded proof sheet with the complete text printed on each side. Estimate $500-$800

Other highlights in the sale are: a collection of ten miniature artist’s books by Brooklyn book artist Soraya Marcano, , most issued in edition of ten copies or less and rarely offered for sale (Estimate $1,000-$1,500); a complete collection of all six Dard Hunter titles published by REM Miniatures (Estimate: $800-$1,200); one hundred volumes from Norman Forgue’s Black Cat Press, a nearly complete collection of the titles issued by the press (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); twelve micro-miniatures on Medieval history printed by Roger Huet, housed in a fine rosewood case (Estimate: $700-$1,000); and the Gleniffer Press edition of Three Blind Mice, former record holder for the smallest letterpress printed book in the world, one of several former holders of this record included in this auction (Estimate: $500-$800).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, August 21st 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, August 22nd and 23rd, from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, August 24th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

Clipper Ship Sailing Cards, Peter Parley and Propaganda

Tales of Peter Parley

Tales of Peter Parley

On Thursday, August 10th, PBA Galleries will host an Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography sale of over 450 lots of historical materials relating to the Americas and the world at large, including books, manuscripts, ephemera, photographs, maps, and more. There are letters and booklets relating to slavery and the African-American experience; rare California ephemera and promotional items from the 19th and 20th centuries; important works on the exploration of the American West; a collection of scarce clipper ship sailing cards; early directories of states and cities; desirable real estate and cadastral maps of local California communities; and more. Travels to the far reaches of the world includes excursions into Africa, central Asia and the subcontinent, the Middle East, China and Japan, the great cities of Europe, and the steppes of Russia.

Featured in the sale is a first edition of the First Peter Parley book, The Tales of Peter Parley About America. This very rare children’s book by Samuel Griswold Goodrich, published in 1827, was the first of over 100 different titles issued with the Peter Parley name and its success spurred many imitations. Goodrich explains in the preface that he was conveying “to children, under the guise of amusement, the first ideas of Geography and History.” (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000)
Ka Palapala Hemolele a Iehova ko kakou akua o ke Kauoha Kahiko a me ke Kauoha Hou i unuhiia mailoko mai o na’olelo kahiko is a complete Bible in Hawaiian. Printed at the Hawaiian Mission Press in 1843, it is the first octavo edition, but second edition of the Bible in Hawaiian. (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000). Also in the sale is an original WWII propaganda poster in Russian. With four hand-stenciled color images depicting vivid scenes of Russian victory and German defeat, it is one of some 1250 different posters produced by Tass during the war. (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000)

Clipper Ship Sailing Card for Wild Rover

Clipper Ship Sailing Card for Wild Rover

For the Californiana collectors sale highlights include a superb 19th century photograph album with nearly 60 original images of California and Colorado, including rare views of San Francisco’s Chinatown (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); twenty-one lots of clipper ship sailing cards including an original color engraved card for Wild Rover with an iconic image representing sail power versus steam (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500); the 1884 Mining Map of Inyo County by J. M. Keeler with an early view of Mt. Whitney from Lone Pine, folding into its original printed paper wrapper trimmed in gilt (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); and an extensive archive of original blueprints & designs for various features of San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal which was open from January 14th, 1939, until it closed on August 7th, 2010, to make way for the Transbay Transit Center (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000).

Russian Propaganda Poster

Russian Propaganda Poster

Two additional noteworthy lots are featured in this sale. A rare subscriber’s copy of the first edition of George Anson’s Voyage Around the World will be offered. This edition includes 42 copper-engraved maps, charts, views coastal profiles, etc., most folding but is also known for the text chronicling adventure and discovery as Anson roamed the Pacific in pursuit of Spanish treasure (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000). Also in the auction is Francis Trevelyan Miller’s 1930 The World in the Air in two volumes and one of the limited Pioneers Edition signed by important figures in aviation history including Glenn Curtiss, Louis Bleriot and others. This is the “first historic collection of official prints and photographs from government archives and private collections recording five thousand years of man’s struggles to conquer the air” (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, August 7th, 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, August 8th and 9th from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, August 10th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

First Account of Decoding Hieroglyphs in July 27th Auction

Egyptian Hieroglphs Decoded

Egyptian Hieroglphs Decoded

A first edition of Jean-François Champollion’s seminal work on deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs highlights PBA Galleries’ Fine Literature & Fine Books sale on July 27th, 2017. This copy of Lettre… relative à l’alphabet des hiéroglyphiqes phonétiques… in the original wrappers, includes the four folding lithographed plates depicting hieroglyphic cartouches and demotic inscriptions, and a table of symbols identified as phonetic. This is the first account of Champollion’s method for assigning phonetic values of Egyptian hieroglyphs, based on a study of the Rosetta Stone. From these initial researches Champollion progressed to more comprehensive deciphering, making the texts of ancient Egypt, including the Rosetta Stone on which he worked from 1822-24, accessible to his contemporaries, forming the basis of modern Egyptology (Estimate: $30,000-$50,000)

Featured in the sale is a first American edition of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Considered by many to be the most important American novel of the 19th century, this copy is finely bound in full brown levant morocco. The first American edition followed the English edition by a month and contains thirty-five passages and the “Epilogue” omitted in London. When it was published, the book was considered a failure, misunderstood by critics and ignored by the public (Estimate: $7,000-$10,000).

Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye

Other literature offered in the sale include a first edition, first issue in dust jacket of Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger’s classic story of “cynical adolescent” Holden Caulfield (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); a first edition of the great poem of the 20th century and T. S. Eliot’s most famous work, The Waste Land (Estimate: $8,000-$12,000); and a scarce first edition of Blazing Guns on the Chisholm Trail, a “rip-roaring tale of the old West” which served as the basis for the 1948 film Red River, directed and produced by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Also in the auction is a first edition of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, one of the greatest historical works in English. Written by the English historian, Edward Gibbon, the work was issued in six volumes over a span of thirteen years. This copy is offered together with the first edition of Gibbon’s Miscellaneous Works in two volumes, 1796, uniformly bound with and from the same publisher as the Decline and Fall (Estimate: $15,000-$25,000).

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau

Additional notable lots are a large paper limited edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Writings in 11 volumes, published in 1894 and beautifully bound in full green morocco (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); Astrolabium by Franz Ritter, a 1660 rare work on the construction and use of astrolabes with numerous engraved illustrations and bound in period full vellum (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); and four complete plays – The life and death of King John, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Life of Tymon of Athens, and The Winters Tale – each from the 1632 second folio edition of Shakespeare’s works (Estimates: $6,000-$9,000 each).

The sale has over 400 lots including more fine literature from the 17th to 21st centuries, plus a selection of rare, interesting and unusual books and manuscript material from the 13th century onward. 19th century three-deckers give way to poetry and novels of the Beat generation, with high spots from Stephen Crane to J.R.R. Tolkien and translations of Neoplatonist philosophers, with finely bound books and sets, medieval manuscript leaves, important science and medical works, and much more.

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, July 24th, 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 25th and 26th from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, July 27th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

1st American Color Plate Book Featured in Art & Illustration – Children’s Literature Sale July 13th

Wilson's American Ornithology

Wilson’s American Ornithology

The first outstanding American color plate book is featured in PBA Galleries’ July 13th Art, Illustration, and Fine Children’s Literature auction. Also in the sale are over 350 lots of captivating illustrative and decorative materials, rare graphics, literature for children and your, uncommon photographs, and more. The items range from important early American ornithological works to rare artists’ books, with impressive English color plate books, landmarks of 20th century fantasy, and high points of Golden Age illustrated books. Graphic materials being offered include a sizable collection of botanical prints, original comic art, a large number of 19th century travel photographs, art exhibition posters from Puerto Rico, and much more.

Published in nine volumes, American Ornithology; or, The Natural History of the Birds of the United States, contains 76 hand-colored copper-engraved plates from drawings by the author, engraved by Alexander Lawson, G. Murray, Benjamin Tanner and J. G. Warnicke. The work was the first American work to use color plates to convey scientific information. Now overshadowed by Audubon’s giant folios, Wilson’s work is still considered to be the first great American color plate book of any kind. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000.

History of Royal Residences

History of Royal Residences

Also, featured in the sale is a First Edition of William Henry Pyne’s The History of the Royal Residences from 1819. A magnificent set of histories and descriptions of the homes of British royalty, it includes detailed views of both interiors and exteriors in 100 different aquatint plates each in two states (one hand-colored, the other uncolored) for a total of 200 plates making this copy quite rare. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.

Rainbow over Potala Palace

Rainbow over Potala Palace

Graphic art highlights in the sale include the most famous photograph by Galen Rowell, “Rainbow over the Potala Palace” signed by the photographer. This is an original print of the iconic image of a multi-colored rainbow descending on the Potala Palace resulting in a mystical Tibetan scene. Rowell was tragically killed in a plane crash in California in 2002 (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000). Also in the sale is a rare hand-colored aquatint view of Morea, with Tahiti a part of the Friendly Isles, from a painting by James Cleverley, artist on James Cook’s third voyage (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500) and a captivating 1950’s original oil painting on canvas of San Francisco by the Chicago-born painter, Maurice Lapp (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500).

Original Oil Painting of SF

Original Oil Painting of SF

Celebrated Dogs of America

Celebrated Dogs of America

Splendid chromolithograph plates grace Alexander Pope’s Celebrated Dogs of America, Imported and Native. The work contains 18 of the 20 series of plates originally issued in monthly parts and is quite rare in any form (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).  Other important books in the sale are Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories illustrated with color plates by Kay Nielsen, one of 600 copies signed by the artist (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); The Wonderful Wizard of Oz illustrated by Barry Moser, printed at the Pennyroyal  Press, one of 350 copies signed by the illustrator (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); and a complete set of First American editions of Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis’ classic fantasy series for young people (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, July 10th, 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 11th and 12th from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, July 13th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

Mining the Gold Rush – Archive of Letters Highlight June 29th Sale

Over 600 lots of rare, unusual, and valuable material, including books, manuscripts, maps, directories, photographs, graphic items, ephemera, and more will be offered by PBA Galleries in their Americana, Travel & Exploration, World History, and Cartography auction on Thursday, June 29th. The items range from original letters of the California Gold Rush to a rare Russian propaganda poster produced during World War II, with original photographs and travel albums, rare maps from the 17th through 20th centuries, important accounts of travels across the United States and around the World, letters and photographs signed by those who made and dropped the first Atomic Bombs, a significant archive of letters to and from William Randolph Hearst, and a large selection of Directories of U.S. cities and states.

 

Archive of Gold Rush Letters

Archive of Gold Rush Letters

An important archive letters from the California Gold Rush highlights the sale. The thirty-six letters and notes were written by brothers John and Thomas Emery from California to their family in New Brunswick, Canada. The letters span about three and a half years and present an insightful and uncommon perspective of the great tableau that was the California Gold Rush. The young Canadian brothers were only too eager to leave their difficult lives as farmers and merchants for the lure of quick and easy riches to be found in the Golden State, only to face with unforeseen hardships and futility. Included in the lot is a 19th century vintage tin box where the missives were stored for much of the last century and a half. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.

Letters and accounts also featured in the sale include the very rare Briefe Relation of the Discovery and Plantation of New England, 1622, an account of the earliest exploration and settlement of New England, with some leaves in fine manuscript facsimile (Estimate: $3,000-%5,000); an archive of antebellum letters relating to the horrors of slavery written by a friend of a young James Garfield (Estimate: $7000-$10,000); and a manuscript account of the Hiroshima bombing mission by Harold Agnew, an American physicist who was an observer on The Great Artiste which tailed the Enola Gay on its historic flight (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500).

Another one of a kind lot is an original oil painting by Eric Sloane, Early Bird. A striking depiction of a biplane soaring through the clouds mostly like flying over Long Island Sound and Roosevelt Field. Inscribed to Admiral Luis de Florez, his son Peter and daughter-in-law, Suzanne Humphreys Ford. Sloane was a prolific painter and book illustrator known for his depictions of the sky and clouds, and received commissions to paint works for the U.S. Air Force.

 

Stedman's Narrative of ...Surinam in Guiana

Stedman’s Narrative of …Surinam in Guiana

Other featured lots include: J.G. Stedman’s Narrative of a Five Years’ Expedition, Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam in Guiana with 81 copperplates, 16 of which were engraved by William Blake (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); the rare first issue of Nicolas De Fer’s famous 1700 map with California as an island (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500); a rare hand-stenciled Russian propaganda poster from WWII picturing Adolf Hitler milking bombs and planes from a cow representing “Neutral Switzerland” (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); and a photograph by Carleton Watkins of Mt. Conness, on the edge of Yosemite National Park, taken while he was with George Davidson’s 1890 surveying expedition of the peak (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

WWII Russian Propaganda Poster

WWII Russian Propaganda Poster

Carleton Watkins Mt. Coness

Carleton Watkins Mt. Coness

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, June 26th, 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 27th and 28th from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, June 29th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

Eric Sloane’s “Early Bird” Takes Flight on June 29th

Early Bird

Early Bird

On June 29, 2017, PBA Galleries will offer Early Bird, an original oil painting on wood panel by the American landscape painter Eric Sloane. Although, PBA occasionally has auctions of fine art, including illustration art, the painting will be on the block during a sale of Americana, World History & Exploration, and Natural History offerings.

The striking oil painting, 23″ high x 30 3/4″ wide was painted in the early 1940s. It depicts a biplane soaring through the clouds, most likely flying over Long Island Sound and Roosevelt Field, New York. Sloane was known to have spent significant time at Roosevelt field where he painted. He taught Wiley Post to paint and in return, Post taught Sloane how to fly where he developed his love of the clouds and sky. Amelia Earhart was an early admirer buying his first “cloudscape.” He is famous for his sky and cloud paintings (said to be the finest of his generation) in addition to his American landscapes. His largest skyscape is a six-story mural commissioned by the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, Earth Flight Environment, painted in 1976.

Sloane painted over 15,000 works, wrote 38 books and was an avid collector of Americana. The Sloane Stanley Museum in Kent, CT has re-created his studio including his paint-splattered easel and rows of jars jammed with paint brushes. The museum also houses his early American hand tool collection. His interest in weather and the farmer’s ability to interpret “weather signs” led him to become the first television weatherman where he had farmers from all over New England call in their weather observations.

280436_3The work is signed by Eric Sloane and dedicated to Luis, Peter and Suzie. The dedication is to Admiral Luis de Florez, his son Peter de Florez, and Peter’s wife Suzanne Humphreys-Ford-de Florez. Luis de Florez was a naval aviator and a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy influential in the development of early flight simulators and a pioneer in the use of “virtual reality” to simulate flight and combat situations in World War II. De Florez oversaw Roosevelt Field, where he befriended Eric Sloane. Roosevelt Field, named for Theodore Roosevelt’s son Quentin who was killed in air combat during WWI, was the starting point of Charles Lindbergh’s solo transatlantic flight.

280436_2Suzanne Humphreys was a debutante and her family socialized with the Roosevelts. She began flying at sixteen and soloed after only a little more than three hours of instruction. She took aviation courses at NYU and competed in many air shows and races. During WWII, she joined the British Air Transport Authority and became a ferry pilot in the Royal Air Force because women were not allowed in the U.S. American Air Corps. After the war, Humphreys returned to Roosevelt Field where she befriended the de Florez family and married Peter, a professor at MIT.

Early Bird remained in the de Florez family until Suzanne Humphreys-Ford-de-Florez gave it to the present owner prior to her death.

The sale will begin at 11:00am Pacific Time. The public may preview the auction Monday, June 26th, 1 – 5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 27th and 28th, 9am – 5pm; and Thursday, June 29th, 9-11am or by appointment at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. PBA accepts absentee bids by phone, fax or email or bids may be placed during the sale in person or online. For more information, please contact PBA at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

Rare Books & Manuscripts on June 15th

Leviathan

Leviathan

On Thursday, June 15th, PBA Galleries will offer Rare Books & Manuscripts, a select gathering of 240 lots of rare, interesting, unusual, and valuable materials in a variety of fields, ranging from early religious and philosophical works to landmark scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century. Included are high spots of literary and artistic achievement, beautiful limited printings and artist’s books with original prints, finely bound books and sets, historical works of travel, exploration, Americana and world history, rare illustrated books, medieval manuscript leaves on vellum, and more.

A rare first edition of Voltaire’s Candide, from 1759 headlines the sale.  One of the most famous clandestine works of the 18th century, it was banned for religious blasphemy and political sedition.  The earliest known printing has a complex bibliography in order to avoid the opposition of authorities throughout Europe.  Voltaire used multiple printers and sought the most widespread distribution as copies were seized by authorities as they appeared. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.

The Tale of Beowulf Kelmscott Press

The Tale of Beowulf Kelmscott Press

The Statutes of Venice are written in brown ink on vellum. The laws are from 1560, a time when the city-state was recovering from the devastation of the Black Death but was still a major center of trade with the East. It is an exceptional and rare work in a contemporary binding (Estimate: $15,000-$25,000). Also from the 16th century is the tractate “Menachot” from the rare 1548 edition of the Bomberg Talmud. This printing is the rarest edition of the Talmud printed by Daniel Bomberg since it was produced just five years before the “Conflagration of the Talmud” instigated by the papal degree of 1553 designating the Talmud and related works as blasphemous and condemning them to be burned so many of the copies of this Third Bomberg Edition were destroyed (Estimate: $8,00-$12,000).

Views of Cairo

Views of Cairo

Also, featured in the sale is a first edition of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, 1651, the groundbreaking work on political philosophy and the motivations behind human behavior. Hobbes contends that man is a purely selfish creature, seeking only his own advantage and resisting the competing claims of others resulting in “confrontation, enmity and war (Estimate: $15,000-$25,000).” A rare French, superbly illustrated edition of Boccaccio’s Decameron will also be auctioned. It includes 110 beautifully engraved copper plate illustrations (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000).

Highlights from the 19th century include: a 1821 Sangorski & Stucliffe bound edition of The Pastorals of Virgil with woodcuts and engravings by William Blake (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a first edition of one of the landmarks in American letters, Walden: Or, Live in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau (Estimate: $8,000-$12,000); William Morris’ labor of love The Tale of Beowulf with his own translation of the poem published by Kelmscott Press (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000); and Architecture Arabe ou Monuments du Kaire, by Pascal Coste, 1839, containing a remarkable series of engraved plans and lithographed views of Cairo (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, June 12th, 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 13th and 14th from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, June 15th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

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